AJT & Associates, Inc. - Richard Wood - VP-Civil Engineer
Richard Wood-VP, Civil Engineer and Volunteer
Richard Wood started on his path to becoming a civil engineer early in life. As an 8-year-old, he melted down pieces of asphalt from the edge of the road in front of his house and spread the substance over a roadbed that he had constructed. When the roadbed cooled, it was the perfect size for his favorite toy truck. “As an adult, civil engineering was the closest I could come to simulating my childhood,” Wood says today.
Perhaps it is that unabashed enjoyment of his profession that has contributed to Wood’s success. The company he co-founded in 1988, AJT & Associates, Inc., in Cape Canaveral, Fla. is recognized in the aerospace industry as a premier designer of aerospace facilities with 160 employees and annual gross sales of $15 million. As a Space Alliance Partner with the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP), AJT & Associates and Wood lend their expertise to small businesses facing technical challenges.
During the years between that childhood road construction project and the success of AJT & Associates, Wood built a solid and impressive career in civil engineering. After graduating from the University of Florida with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he became a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in Florida and eventually obtained P.E. licenses in five other states. Wood worked for several years with companies that provided engineering support for NASA before he became one of the four founding principals of AJT & Associates. In 1996, AJT formed Agrimond, L.L.C. as a subsidiary to design and install water treatment systems. Wood currently manages two AJT departments as well as several water treatment projects with Agrimond.
Despite his busy schedule at AJT, Wood makes the time to assist SATOP on a number of requests for assistance (RTA), finding fulfillment in providing solutions for the engineering challenges involved. “Solving people’s problems gives me great satisfaction, especially when I hear that my idea or solution has helped a company create a new product line or overcome a problem they have been working on for a long time,” Wood says. “I find it to be incredibly rewarding.”
One-on-One with Richard Wood, P.E., Vice President
of AJT & Associates, Inc.
and SATOP volunteer:
Interesting fact: “I am fascinated with history, particularly the Civil War era. I find it interesting how forces from both sides dealt with problems such as the movement of troops and supplies.”
What job he would have had if not an engineer: “I wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force or Navy. I had passed all my tests to enter the Navy, but during my physical they found I had some minor color blindness, which would keep me out of planes altogether. That’s when I switched to becoming a civil engineer.”
What do you enjoy most about being a SATOP volunteer?: “Talking with Ryan Greenough at the SATOP center in Titusville. Almost every time he calls he says, ‘I just want your opinion’ about something, which usually means he wants me to work on another RTA. But I don’t mind at all -- I really enjoy helping him and SATOP.”
Engineering project he wished he could have worked on: “The Hoover (Boulder) Dam. After visiting the dam during my last vacation, I was amazed at the engineering feat it was. The logistical problems that had to be overcome were tremendous. Managing a project like that would be a rewarding job. Also, I could have called myself a dam civil engineer.”
Personal accomplishment he is most proud of: “Founding an engineering company and helping it grow to the stature that AJT is now.”